I’ve visited a lot of churches. I’m always looking for ways that our whole church can improve.
It’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes can find.
It’s one thing to get people in the door once. But to get someone to visit again, and begin to call your church their home? Much tougher.
We’re still trying to figure out ways to ensure people stick, but there are a few things we’ve learned that will guarantee someone won’t come back.
10 Ways to Ensure I’ll Never Revisit your Church
1. Offer no easy way to plug in to community.
Don’t tell me about small groups. Make me wait forever to plug in…or make me do extensive work to even figure out what kind of groups you offer.
2. Don’t be welcoming in the parking lot.
Just do your job, don’t speak to me as I walk in, and offer a bit of a “it-is-early-on-a-Sunday-morning” scowl.
3. Don’t acknowledge I’m in the service.
Give no head nod to “first timers,” “visitors,” or “folks just checking us out.” In fact, just speak to the inner core, the “members.”
4. Acknowledge me too much.
Call me out and have me stand up. Ask me to publicly share my name and darkest secrets.
5. Don’t give much thought or care to your kids ministry.
People don’t care if their children are safe, watched after, and learn the Bible. Nope. Let them run amuck.
6. Pass the offering bucket twice.
Or thrice. And shame me into giving you money.
7. Don’t share the Gospel, or challenge me spiritually.
Because that’s not why people come to church is it…to be stretched to grow spiritually, is it? Oh, wait, maybe that’s one of the main reasons they show up…
8. Ask me to give me your email address, then spam me.
Overwhelm me, starting on Monday morning, with news from every single ministry your church has ever offered.
9. Visit me at home.
Show up during dinner time, if you can. Or while I’m trying to put my son to bed. That would be ideal, please. Our generation loves the random church-member pop-in when we aren’t even sure we like your church. Love. It.
10. Pastor: disappear as soon as you finish preaching.
Go back to the greenroom. Or Starbucks. But don’t position yourself in the hallway. You are a diva, after all.
Note: If you want visitors to return, be warm and inviting. Challenge people to grow. Offer various opportunities to plug in and serve. Then get out of the way and give people the chance to explore.
Ever had a bad experience while visiting a church?